The Supreme Court on Friday chastised the Uttar Pradesh government for failing to delegate an agency to advise the Muslim kid and his classmates, who were reportedly told by his school teacher to hit him for not finishing his homework, news agency PTI reported. A female teacher at a school in Muzaffarnagar district is also accused of using a communal insult on the victim youngster. Observing “total non-compliance” by the state government with its order, a bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal directed the principal secretary of the state’s school education department to remain virtually present during the next hearing to avoid any harsh action by the court.
The Supreme Court asked the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai to advise on the best way to counsel the youngster and his classmates engaged in the event.
“After having heard the counsel for the parties, we are of the view that the Uttar Pradesh government, and in particular the education department, has not complied with various orders passed by this court from time to time. There is no proper counselling conducted for the victim child and the other children involved in the incident. To say the least, the approach of the state government as seen from the affidavits filed regarding providing counselling to the children is shocking. We therefore appoint Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai to suggest the mode and manner of extending counselling to the child and other children. TISS will also suggest the names of expert child counsellors available in the state who can extend counselling under the supervision of TISS,” the bench’s order was quoted by PTI in its report.
The Supreme Court ordered the UP government to give TISS with the necessary infrastructure and support, as well as to submit a report by December 11, the next day of hearing.
“We direct the Principal Secretary of Education Department to remain personally present to avoid any strong action by the court. We hope he will personally look into the matter and see that directions are complied with,” the bench said.
The Muzaffarnagar Police had filed a complaint against the instructor for allegedly uttering anti-Muslim statements and ordering his students to hit him. The state education agency also served a notice on the institution.
The teacher was arrested after a video surfaced showing her allegedly instructing students to smack a Class 2 kid in Khubbapur hamlet and making a communal comment.
On November 6, the Supreme Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to aid the boy’s admission to a private school.
It was considering a petition submitted by Tushar Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson, demanding a swift probe into the issue.
On October 30, the Supreme Court ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to make an expedient decision on whether to prosecute the schoolteacher.
The Supreme Court referred to the victim’s father’s assertions in the affidavit that the child was “severely traumatised,” and asked Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj to take instructions on the availability of an expert agency, such as NIMHANS or TISS, that could go to the victim’s village and counsel him and other schoolchildren.